By PAUL WISEMAN
AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is outlining its goals for a new trade deal with Australia, Japan, South Korea and nine other nations meant to signal the country’s commitment to working with the Indo-Pacific region at a time of growing Chinese clout. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative on Friday released its negotiating aims for the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, a deal with the 12 nations launched in May. Among them, the U.S. wants the Indo-Pacific countries to improve their labor and environmental standards and ensure their markets remain open to competition, while also taking steps to ease supply-chain backlogs at border crossings.